Our Word :: Week 2 Day 5 & Week 3 Day 1 :: {A Truth} {A Name}

by Cassie

A truth. A name. A naming of truth.

We came here through no fault of our own, a spiral of stardust crawling through the mud, squalling in caves full of dancing shadows, fire-bearers and wheel-shapers and wild myth-makers, wide-hipped wonders birthing whole new worlds into our hands, holding the hungry mouths of a hundred generations against our breast. I’m propped up on the bones of those who have gone before me, where girls caught on fire in cornfields and Civil War soldiers came back home, and sometimes I get it wrong, sometimes I don’t listen enough to the stories of the living, seeking instead the solace of a long-buried history, smothered storytelling under centuries of dirt, a grave robber looking for redemption in shroud-wrapped words six feet deep and as long as a last breath. I’ve made an art out of repressing the present, finding refuge in my dreams, comfort in the abstract images my subconscious spins out while I’m sleeping. I shared a cradle with the creation story, Genesis my original mythology, and there are countless hours I’ve spent atoning for Eve’s uncontrollable desire, for the way she couldn’t just keep all that insatiable curiosity in her pants, for how she swallowed that serpent whole and let knowledge grow unapologetically in her belly, until I found my own apple and bit right through to the core, let the juice and the seeds spill over on to dust-covered feet, and so I am

a history-holder, tomb raider, dream-dancer, Eve-apologist, apple-eater.

I always have a hard time finding endings, because I feel like they must always be profound, instead of just a thing that happens, naturally, organically. Sometimes the death of a thing is not worthy of my grief, yet I inevitably find myself in sackcloth and ashes, fasting, weeping, wailing for the act of loss itself, for what it represents in life, for the bitterness of brevity. But then what to do when you can’t handle the rawness of all that emotion free floating through the air, when your skin has turned itself inside out and every nerve is exposed to the winds and the whims of being alive? Here, me and my emotional harakiri, throwing myself down on my sword, but I’m too afraid to die, so I just shove everything back inside me and stagger around with my insides falling out through my fingers, slippery intestines of self-doubt coiling around my wrists like living bangles. And I’m not a violent person by nature, so all that untended rage just lurks under the surface like cancer, waiting to eat me up, and sometimes it’s just me and the rotten banana black spots of my soul, and there’s a primal part of me that thrills in the dark crunch of a buzzing wasp beneath my fingers, that broken body, and even the sting feels like the step of a striding giantess, and so then I am

an ending-extender, wailing woman, shamefaced samurai, closed fist Lilith, stomping Kali.

I believe in omens. Not good or bad, but as a way of knowing true aloneness is nothing we can ever obtain, even when we seek it out, even when we rip our hearts out and offer them up to oblivion. Crows that cover the underworld of your soul with feathers soaked in midnight ink, black cats that cross your path like the kind of catastrophe that brings you back to life, a defibrillator of disaster, shocking the shit out of you, forced electricity flowing through sleepy veins. For a long time I thought bad luck was a thing, a pair of decaying rabbit feet hanging from my earlobes, and I had let my hands be tied at my sides so I couldn’t reach up to pull them off, and all the time, I could feel the black magic of them whispering through the tiny bones of the ear, sinking in under my skull, stealth bombing my bloodstream until my whole body was a ship of misfortune; tossed upon the waves of deep superstition, I tried everything to sink myself, to toss the tonnage of hardship over the side, but I just kept floating back to the top, I just kept seeing bluebirds among blossoms and hearing hawks scream across the sky and feeling a southeastern wind on my skin after a storm, and somewhere there in all of that I found that I am

an equal opportunity oracle, decomposing diviner, unsinkable mystic, hollow prophet, and olive branch-bearing dry-land dove writing down my own promise on a piece of rainbow paper.